They were killed because they were women, and because as engineering students they occupied public space in non-traditional roles. Every year we call for action, because explicit misogyny, insidious discrimination and gender-based violence continue to provoke fear in the lives of women in Canada and in the lives of our sisters across the globe.
As a young woman standing to address the House of Commons today, I am reminded that it is not always laws which hold women back, but fear too. A man walked into the Ecole Polytechnique who hoped to scare women away from their dreams.
And so, for the girls who want to be engineers, scientists, artists, lawyers, doctors, leaders, we call for action today. For the women who want to be treated equally, who want to be respected and not racialized, impoverished or marginalized we call for action today. For all women who want to actualize all their choices, whatever they may be, in peace and security, without fear of violence or degradation, we call for action today.
Today and every day, women must have what they need to live without fear, without violence and with choice.
Watch my statement in the house on December 4th, 2013.